In the Sangin district of Afghanistan, British and Afghan forces are working hard to promote security, as well as to reassure and protect the locals.
The Taliban attack soldiers by firing through small "murder holes," making it difficult for ISAF and Afghan forces to effectively engage the insurgents.
On January 11, six foreign soldiers were killed in Afghanistan during a series of separate attacks, bringing the death-toll in the new year up to 15 and making this the deadliest January for foreign troops, yet.
Furthermore, 2009 was the deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the US invasion. However, the deaths caused by coalition forces have declined, according to the UN.
Despite the difficult conditions, NATO and its international partners are committed to the success of the mission, above all towards improving security for Afghans.
Their renewed efforts are having a positive impact on the ground, as demonstrated by a recent BBC poll of the local population. The results indicate that most Afghans are optimistic about the future, which should encourage NATO:
- 72% support the 30,000 troop surge; and
- only 10% support the Taliban;
- 70% believe their country is heading in the right direction, while only 37% of Americans believe the United States is going in the right direction.
NATO spokesman James Appathurai released this statement: "Our population centric strategy and the commitment to add 37,000 more troops in 2010 is creating a new momentum for the mission, which is reflected in this poll."
Dear Atlantic Community Members,
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Related Articles from Atlantic Community:
- Editorial Team: A New Dimension for the ISAF Mission
- NATO: Road to Stability
- Bernhard Lucke: The Consequences of 'Victory'